TODAY   |  January 08, 2013

Lena Dunham of ‘Girls’: We’ll still ‘push the envelope’

TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie chats with the cast of HBO’s hit series “Girls” – Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet – about the show’s second season, with Dunham saying she feels “so inspired by the people I work with.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> girls as they navigate life's trials and tribulations.

>> are you okay?

>> are you serious?

>> yes.

>> are we less close now?

>> of course we're not less close. you moved out. so obviously we're a little less close. we're no less close than that.

>> i feel like i don't know you.

>> that's not true. marti, i'm right here.

>> allison williams, zosia mamet and lena dunham. morning, ladies.

>> morning.

>> surprise wedding, freak relationship ending accident, groping incident with the boss. what do you do for an encore, lena?

>> we're keeping it -- continuing to push the envelope, i hope. i think if you love what we're doing last season, we're going to push it further. if you hated what we did last season you will hate it even more.

>> critics have called this smart, funny, groundbreaking, brilliant, brilliantly raw. intimidating when you sit down to write a second season?

>> i think it's easy to get caught in that sophomore syndrome and have this incredible amount of anxiety about following something up that received some kind of praise but i feel so inspired by the people that i work with and so kind of keen to keep my creative bubble going that you have to separate their reaction from your own creative process , not to sound like a hippie. of course it's important to respond to your viewers but it's also important to stay connected to the reason you started doing it in the first place.

>> i watch this show. i don't feel that i am that old. i have to say that i find myself mortified a lot. is that the point? is this supposed to be shocking? what do you think?

>> i would think so, yeah. i think it's supposed to be a bit shocking at how realistic it is, yes.

>> do you think it's realistic, allison ?

>> yes, and i think part of it is holding up a very harsh kind of funhousy mirror to people. i don't think people are used to looking at themselves that closely.

>> the intention is to shock. i don't think lena is right, this is going to be a shocker, you know. i just think that is a side effect , yeah.

>> it's so cool when you say shocker.

>> shocker.

>> you should write that for her character. it sounds so good. there are people who love this series and then there seems to be a category of people who love to loath it. i haven't heard about anyone who doesn't like it.

>> that's good. all right. get online. some people think these characters are so entitled, these 20 somethings are so self absorbed. what do you say about that?

>> i would be curious to know what it was like for you guys to -- for me, i sort of object to the notion that characters have to be likable. i feel like i don't like most of my friends. i love them. that's the same way i feel about the characters that i write. i think it's important to have characters on television who are sort of ambiguous and complex, the way that people are, especially female characters. so often women are relegated to sassy best friend or evil job go ing bioch.

>> i think humans every day are totally unlikable. and miss dunham here, we all play against types constantly. it's terribly selfish period of life, you know. like your early 20s you literally are trying to figure out like yourself and what you're doing with your life. i think that's normal that they would be slightly self involved.

>> i would be remiss if i didn't mention, by the way, allison , we are on the "today" show set right now but also at the world headquarters of the allison williams fan club because your dad, brian, of course, is the president.

>> he most certainly is. and he will tell you that.

>> many enthusiastic members around here, more often some of our crew members. little bit stalkery at all?

>> definitely disorienting moments where pas start to cry because brian williams --

>> he's really proud. i think he also feels paternal for all of us. he feels a lot of love for this show and obviously he is excited this has happened.

>> i imagine all of you have tried to concert any fears. these are fearless portrayals. has it been hard to do for any of you?

>> all so brave and so --

>> you're really brave. you're really maybe the bravest person i know.

>> brave to step into the mouth of a lion or -- to save a baby but it's not that brave to get naked if you're not scared to get naked.

>> that's a good teaser. we're back after your check of your local news. check of your local news. check of your local news. check of your local news. check of your local news. a check of your local news.